Mexican Culture Interpersonal Communication
There are many cultures around the world. The Mexican Culture is one that is expanding rapidly in the United States. Although the Mexican Culture is expanding it is very different from the American Culture. The Mexican Culture is a high masculine culture. There are similarities within the American Culture and the Mexican Culture, but also many differences. I was able to spend time with my future step brother-in-law on his daughter’s 1st birthday.
Although I have gone to family functions that he has attended as well, I did not know him. He typically only speaks Spanish unless he responds directly to a question in English. I was able to learn a lot about Sabino, and his culture. Without this assignment I feel I would not have grown to appreciate Sabino and the Mexican culture. In fact if not for this assignment I would not have attended Evelyn’s, Sabino’s daughter, first birthday celebration. Evelyn’s birthday party was not exactly what I expected. No one sang the traditional American Happy Birthday song.
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Instead, a song called “Las Mananitas” is sung. Sabino informed me that the lyrics do not translate into Happy Birthday. The song is “Estas son las mananitas, que cantaba el Rey David,? Hoy por ser dia de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,? Despierta, Evelyn, despierta, mira que ya amanecio,? Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metio. Que linda esta la manana en que vengo a saludarte,? Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,? Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del dia nos dio,? Levantate de manana, mira que ya amanecio. ” (S. Xique, personal communication, January 20, 2013). This song is translated into “This is the morning song that King David sang, Because today is your saint's day we're singing it for you. Wake up, Evelyn, wake up, look it is already dawn. The birds are already singing and the moon has set. How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you.? We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you? The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light? Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn.” (S. Xique, personal communication, January 20, 2013).
This song was not only sung at the party, but this is how they woke Evelyn up that morning. What surprised me the most about this birthday celebration is that it was not just a party for Evelyn, but a party for the entire family. It was a chance for everyone to get together with food and drinks. The adults partied as much as the kids. Everyone pitched in and provided different dishes and beer. It seemed that each mom competed for the best dish. I was able to sample tamales and carnitas. I was not brave enough to try all the dishes as I was told some were extremely spicy.
At times, it was awkward for me as most of the conversations were in Spanish, but everyone was extremely polite and gracious. Although I did not know many of the people there I felt like part of the family. After observing my future step brother-in-law’s family the way they live is very different from the way one would live in America. Sabino’s family is different from my own family and after talking more with Sabino I realized he is a very traditional Mexican. One of the biggest differences was his children do not believe in Santa Claus.
They still celebrate Christmas, but do not believe in the reason children receive gifts. This may not be true with all people among the Mexican Culture, but it was for Sabino’s side of the family. He said it is very important for him and his wife and his children, to understand that Christmas and Christmas presents are not important, but the reason for the season is extremely important. Sabino’s family is devout Catholics and regularly attends mass (S. Xique, personal communication, January 20, 2013). An obvious major difference is the language between the two cultures (Mukherjee, 2001).
The Mexican Culture mainly speaks Spanish, while the American Culture mostly speaks English. Sabino is able to adapt to American way of life, and he can speak English, but it is not his best language. He prefers to speak Spanish. He is quiet if people around him are speaking English, but if he is around others who speak Spanish he chats away. Sabion said he is just more comfortable and can understand things better in his own language. He said that not everything translates the way it is meant to, especially jokes and sarcasm (S. Xique, personal communication, January 20, 2013). While I was observing Sabino’s family I was able to learn many things about their way of life. The Mexican Culture is very kind and loyal (Mukherjee, 2001). Most get married and have families. Sabino said many of his family members and him avoid any kind of confrontation, and do not try to get into any situation that would include disagreement. This would indicate that his culture is high in uncertainty avoidance. They are very sensitive and emotional with everything they do.
Members of the Mexican Culture take pride in their work and try to do everything with the best of their ability. Money is not a form of achievement, but they will stride to do everything needed to take care of their families. They are very hard workers, and if they are asked to do something they usually do not hesitate and will complete the task efficiently (Mukherjee, 2001). Sabino regularly sends money back to his sister in Mexico to help her with her children (S. Xique, personal communication, January 20, 2013). This shows that Sabino is a part of a collectivistic culture.
He cares about his family, but he believes that it is important to focus on the needs of everyone and not just him and his family here. Family is very similar in the eyes of the Mexican Culture, and the American Culture it is almost the same. The men usually work and the woman stays at home and takes care of domestic chores and takes care of the children in the home. The Mexican family may not ever separate, and tend to live in the same household together for a very long time (Mukherjee, 2001). Sabino only left his family to start a family with his wife.
He told me that some Mexican families never leave from the same house, and even when they start a family of their own, their family will all live together (S. Xique, personal communication, January 20, 2013).
- Geert Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations. Second Edition, Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications, 2001
- Mukherjee, B. (2001, September 23). Difference between mexican and american culture. Retrieved from http://www. buzzle. com/articles/difference-in-mexican-and-
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